Planning Content for All Devices
Advancements in CSS3 offer more opportunities for responsive design and audiences are increasingly becoming aware of Web sites that are tailored to their device versus Web sites that are just conforming to a standard that doesn’t suit the device they are using.
When designing a site that responds to all sizes of screens you not only need to think about the technology that makes this happen, but you also especially want to give thought to the content that will appear on each screen.
Squishing content into a tall stack of information may not be the best way to present your content to small screen users.
Examining your Web site analytics to see what content is most viewed and used is worth the while. Try to determine what people want to see first. From there, prioritize your content from top-down, most used to least viewed, so that you can easily decide what content should be added as your screen real estate increases.
For example, if the bulk of users to your Web site are composed of event attendees and exhibitors then the first information displayed to small screen users may be a button for ‘Exhibitor Information’ and a button for ‘Attendee Information’.
Once the user chooses, the next screen will be tailored to their needs rather than using precious real estate talking about attendee registration when an exhibitor is viewing the site. When your Web site is accessed via mobile devices its more important than ever to know what your audiences wants the most out of your Web site.
Also, when designing for small screens you want to tailor the look and actions to the needs of a touch device. Buttons should be large enough to click easily with your finger. Fonts and styles should be large and simple so that they can be read easily on small devices.
If you are able to track the resolutions and screen dimensions that your users utilize, then you can increasingly tailor your content and design to the most used devices accessing your website. We usually give preference to designing for small screens however you may have a large constituency that views your website on large screens. You don’t want this audience staring at a lot of blank space, that’s prime real estate you are missing out on.